As if motivation to do our real job wasn't low enough, today we were...okay, so this series we're working on lists a bunch of real anime, and we're so out of touch with domestic fandom (or Japanese fandom...or the outside world in general) these days that we feel the need to look up anime titles to make sure we're going with the correct domestic title for series that are popular enough that we totally should have heard of them. So we were doing that, and before we had a chance to move on from one title, Athena noticed a cast list, and now we have another anime that we'd really like to binge watch right now please. But we can't because we have deadlines...several of which are self-imposed. There just aren't enough hours in the day.
Anyway, there were a couple of cute toddler stories that I forgot to tell the last time I was talking about visiting the family, so let me tell them now! First, the first morning we were at Mom's house is when the nephews got to see us for the first time, and Logan's little brother hadn't seen us since he was about half as old as he is now, so naturally he didn't really remember us. I had finished getting ready for the day first, so I went to the living room and sat down with the boys. A few minutes later, Athena came out wearing a matching t-shirt, and Michael looked at her and said, "There's another one!?"
The second story happened when Athena was playing with Logan on her iPad. She has a coloring app that has a connect-the-dots thing, so they were connecting the dots. There were thirty-seven of them, so after about twenty, Logan gave all the counting responsibility over to Athena. When they got up to the thirty-seventh dot, he said, "I've never gone that
high before!" and Athena said, "Well now you have!" And he replied, "No I haven't. I'm only four and a half."
Anyway, I also have some more Labyrinth of Andersen to talk about.
So let me tell you about the Little Mermaid. Her story felt really short; maybe that's because they pretty much recapped her fairy tale before she joined the party, and
added a story about an arranged marriage. So I guess the writers felt like she'd had enough fun, and instead they introduced a new mermaid. Tadah!
This new mermaid worked at the circus and was the main attraction for her beautiful singing voice. She and her caretaker had been sold to the ringmaster as slaves many years ago--she because she got too curious about landfolk and swam into a fishing net, and he because the fisherman that caught her was a poor desperate man who needed money and he was already kind of a slave--he'd been sold as an apprentice so his family could get money for medicine for his ailing mother. Anyway, the mermaid Eyva and her caretaker Nils were mistreated at the circus, but they were grateful to the ringmaster anyway because if he hadn't made her a star, she would have been eaten by somebody seeking immortality. The only problem is, because she doesn't have a proper tank, she's not getting all the whatever it is mermaids need from the ocean, and now she's pretty much dying.
So now Esheru (that's how they spell the Little Mermaid's name in the picture gallery) and Thumbelina happen to visit the circus and they find out what's going on because Eyva's performance was interrupted by a pretty serious coughing fit. They go backstage and Esheru lends Eyva her magic goldfish bowl, but it's only a temporary fix! If she doesn't get back to the ocean soon, she could die! Dun dun DUN! And by the way, that Nils kid looks awfully familiar.
On the way home, you can already choose whether to get the good ending or the sad ending, but we didn't know that at the time, or we would have gotten the sad ending first. Now we've gotten both, so I can tell them in whatever order I want, and I want to tell the sad one first.
To help buy Eyva some time to recover, Esheru agrees to be the substitute mermaid songstress for one month, because the ringmaster has sworn that he'd let her go free if Esheru would step in for just a month. Well, at the end of the month, I bet you can guess what happened! The ringmaster convinces Esheru that she has to stay with the circus because he has a lot of circus performers' mouths to feed and he can't do it without a star attraction. But that's okay, because Eyva can be free and she and Nils can live happily ever after. So Esheru agrees and Thumbelina stays with her because they're BFFs forever, and Eyva and Nils ride off into the sunset...
...where the ringmaster reveals to his clown flunky that he actually did sell Eyva after all and she was going to be eaten by some rich guy who wants to be immortal. The end.
So that was a pretty bad ending, even if it was predictable. I was like, "Well, duh...oh wow, that's really awful." But that's okay because there's a happy ending, too!
When you choose the happy ending, there's scene with Esheru before she becomes a singer for a month, in which she reveals that Nils somehow reminds her of the prince that she killed. But she doesn't have time to worry about that, because of all the stuff going on. The month ends and Esheru's loyal attendant Goby overhears the ringmaster talking about his evil plot to sell Eyva and keep Esheru on, but he can't tell anybody because the ringmaster captures him first. When Esheru and Thumbelina find out about it, the battle begins!
Actually, Goby got captured in both versions, but in the sad version, the ringmaster talks his way out of the mess. But in the good ending version, he runs away and unleashes an acid-spitting slug to fight Esheru and Thumbelina. It gets pretty actiony, so we didn't necessarily follow what was happening very well, but eventually the Little Mermaid get really ticked off and went all super mermaid, attacking everything in sight. Remember, she is the daughter of the Sea King, so she's inherited some of his superpowers. And actually, she wasn't attacking everything in sight, mostly just the ringmaster. She didn't really lose it; she was just angry. But Goby pointed out that she could destroy an entire continent if she really let loose. Anyway, Thumbelina comes along just in time to stop her from killing the ringmaster, and then Thumbelina uses her warmth spell to purify his heart and he gives up on the whole dissected mermaid display thing (oh yeah, before he sold Eyva off, he was going to have Nils dissect her and put her dissected body on display).
Then Eyva and Nils are released from their contract and they all leave the circus...at which point a couple of travelers catch up to the party and inform Nils that they've been looking for him. See, since the Little Mermaid killed her beloved prince and the kind died of an illness, their kingdom has been without a ruler for some time, and they managed to get one of the old ladies at the palace to confess that she knew that the king had had an affair which resulted in the birth of a son. And sure enough, Nils was that son! Tadah! There's some complications with Eyva, because Nils and Eyva are so deeply in love, but it will never work out because he's a human and she's a mermaid, so she's all, "Just forget about me! Go be a king and be happy!" And he's like, "No! I can never be happy without you!" And she's all, "Too bad! I'm leaving!" And she swims off before he can say another word.
Later, Esheru and Thumbelina go to check on the kingdom and see how Nils is doing, whether or not the people have accepted him as their ruler, etc. etc., and they find out that a mysterious, rather non-talkative girl showed up and has been assigned to be Nils's caretaker. Sure enough, it's Eyva, who struck the same deal with the sea witch--she gave up her voice for legs. Only now she gets to marry her beloved prince, and he gets to be king, and they can live happily ever after. Awwwww.
Esheru and Thumbelina are happy for them, but Thumbelina knows how hard this must be for Esheru, since Eyva got pretty much exactly everything that Esheru wanted, so she tells the Little Mermaid that she wants her
to be happy and find someone she can enjoy the rest of her life with, too. And Esheru says, "But I already have! It's you!" And then she gets Nils to give them a yacht and they sail the world together. The end.
Today I'm thankful for meeting our work quota for today (it was looking iffy for a little while there), our friend from church being kind enough to drive us to Target to pick up some things, getting to go to Joe's Italian Ice on the way home, getting to put together our Ariel and Rapunzel crystal puzzles, and having another new (to us) anime to look forward to at some point in the rather unspecified future.